Tuesday, March 16, 2021

In terms of municipal terminology, 'interim' does catch the eye

A news story on the current community vaccination program relayed through the CBC on Monday night caught the eye of a few observers over the last 24 hours. 

That by way of the turn of a phrase related to the current status of who's serving in the role of Mayor for the City of Prince Rupert this week.

"We've had a rough time in the last month or so," said Wade Niesh, Prince Rupert's interim mayor. "The province has recognized that, and the Northern Health authority, and they've put together this amazing event to try and get our town vaccinated." 

The curious turn of phrase of 'Prince Rupert's interim Mayor' was the one which actually delivered a few correspondences to the North Coast Review mailbox asking if anything was up on Third Avenue West. 

And such was the interest that we figured perhaps we'd look into things a bit to see what if anything it all meant.

In business terms, when someone has taken on a duty on an interim basis, it usually notes an organization in transition; whereas the more common term for municipal use is that of Acting Mayor, which is in place so the Mayor can take some time off, something which all of us are entitled to from time to time,  or to attend to out of town civic business duties.

We went into our exercise with the belief that it was just a mix up in language  and posed that question to City staff by by way of an email this morning.

Alas, any hopes of us becoming the next Woodward or Bernstein were quickly dashed by the City's  Corporate Administrator Ms. Rosa Miller, who confirmed that Mayor Brain remains at the top of the email chain at City Hall, with Councillor Niesh currently serving as Acting Mayor while the Mayor takes some time off. 

A process that City Council has in place from the start of the year, with a rotation of Councillors to take on the duty through the year.

"Councillor Niesh is Acting Mayor at the moment as the Mayor is taking some time to be with his family. As you have noted, likely just the term “interim” was used incorrectly. Mayor Brain has not left the organization."

And with that and our thoughts of a potential scoop at an end, we will stand down and cancel any potential late night information gatherings in downtown parking garages, as well as the percolating prospects  we had of a book or a movie ... 

We also wish the Mayor well with his much deserved time off and trust that Councillor Niesh (or whomever is next up on the list) will manage the store well while he is away.

For more notes on city council themes see our Council Discussion page here.

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